Christine Townend

Christine Townend had her first novel published by Macmillan in 1974. It was described as a pre-cursor to Australian feminist literature and has recently been republished on-line by Macmillan Memento. She won two Literature Board Travel Grants in 1975 and travelled to India where she wrote her second novel. 

In 1976 she called the first meeting of Animal Liberation in Australia, after reading Peter Singer’s book, Animal Liberation. During this period of her life she was often despised and ridiculed when she was invited to speak at farmers and graziers meetings. Together with Peter Singer she also founded Animals Australia. In 1990, during a chance meeting, Janine Vogler, President of Animaux Secours, France, asked Christine if she could go to Help in Suffering Animal Shelter in Jaipur, to check on its condition and send her a report as her organisation was involved in its funding.  During this visit Christine was invited to become the joint managing trustee. 

In 1992 her husband resigned from his legal practice and went to live and work with her as volunteers in the grounds of the shelter. Christine and Jeremy founded two more animal shelters in Darjeeling and Kalimpong. Her biography, Christine’s Ark, written by journalist John Little, was published by Macmillan in 2007. Christine retired as Managing Trustee of HIS in 2007. 

She and her husband still visit the shelters once a year, and she remains a trustee of Darjeeling Goodwill Animal Shelter. She is presently studying for a Doctor of Arts (creative writing) at the University of Sydney and sits on THINK WILDLIFE, a scientific group within the University of Technology, Sydney. She is also an artist, and has held four solo art exhibitions. 

 Link to Working For Animals (raising funds for shelters in India) 
Link to Think Wildlife: 
Link to Think Kangaroos: 
Link to Help in Suffering Animal Shelter:

Freeing the Human-Animal Relationship


Let us include one further notion in the term ‘Commons’: that of the human-animal inter-relation, an ancient relationship evolved over epochs, to which no particular corporation can claim ownership. The human-animal relationship, like many of the other Commons, such as the public ownership of water, electricity and roads, is being violated by two factors: the profit motive and the dark side of human nature.